Florence the Woman

Visiting a Mosque in Alexandria, 1849

Display No. 158

As a young woman Nightingale loved to travel and explore new experiences. In Alexandria she decided to visit a mosque. At that time it was an extremely unusual thing for a Christian to do, especially a woman.

To enter the mosque Nightingale wore an Egyptian form of Islamic dress, similar to that shown in this picture. Describing the mosque, she said “it was so pleasant to see a place where any man may go for a moment’s quiet, and there is none to find fault with him”.

Chris Hellier / Alamy Stock Photo

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Exhibits from ‘Florence the Woman’

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Nightingale is respected worldwide for her pioneering role in developing the nursing profession, her statistical work, and her evidence-based approach to healthcare. In honour of her bicentenary the World Health Organisation have named 2020 the Year of the Nurse and Midwife.

In our special exhibition, you will find out about objects, people and places which tell interesting stories about Florence’s life and legacy. You’ll discover artefacts from her life, people she both inspired and challenged, and places she helped to shape. There’s many more insights too!

Please click on the different sections of her famous coxcomb diagram to explore various aspects of her life and legacy. We hope you enjoy exploring!